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Mary Anning, One of the First Female Fossilists

Looking for fossils is painstaking work. Sometimes you have to dig deep underground. Other times, you have to trek cliffs and chisel your way through just to get to those dried bones. Those toils were nothing to Mary Anning, whose passion for paleontology made her an expert of the Jurassic Period.

Anning inherited her interest in bone collecting from her father. Also a fossil collector, he unearthed the “curiosities,” which he then polished and sold to the tourists visiting the area.
He died young, and Mary, along with her mother and brother, had to continue their fossil business to survive. For Anning, however, fossil hunting was more than a way to make ends meet. Over time, she became an expert in describing and classifying fossils.

(Image credit: Henry De la Beche/Wikimedia Commons)


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